You see I am of the belief that your athlete can be as good as she wants to be. But ultimately all that matters is what she believes, not what you or I believe for her. Your athlete's beliefs about herself will likely limit her success to a great degree. Let's find out why.
Any sport requires preparation and effort to be successful at it, and fastpitch softball is certainly no exception. To attain a level of mastery that will allow your athlete to be her best takes time and a special mental attitude to overcome the adversity, fatigue and pressures the game throws at her. All too often players limit themselves because their thinking acts like an invisible harness holding them back.
Limited thinking sounds like this:
- "I'd like to be good;" "I'm too tired to practice any more"
- "The game is too hard;" "I'll never be as good as she is"
- "I'm not sure if I'll succeed;" "Goals...I don't need goals"
- "I'm not fast enough; "I'm not strong enough;" "I'm not good enough"
Let's look at behaviors of a "No Limit" player that truly has no boundaries to her success:
1. Attitude - she believes she can be the best if she works hard enough. Moreover because of her "no limit" belief in her ability and herself she actually expects to succeed at a high level. She sees mistakes as part of the mastery process and pushes through adversity with a smile.
2. Work Ethic - because she believes she can be as good as she wants she has a crazy work ethic, and is driven to be her absolute best. She challenges herself to work harder physically and mentally each time she steps on the field, in the cage or gym. She pushes herself beyond fatigue and the limitations of others. She defines what is possible for her, and no one else.
3. Passion - she loves the game and as a result has no time reference to her training. She'll workout all day because she loves playing. To her mastering the game is a blast! This player is diving all over the field and is a perpetual sponge when it comes to learning the game from her coaches or through her own observations. Her desire and passion propel her to greatness!
4. Goals - the "no limit" athlete has specific goals that challenge her to get better in all parts of her game. She uses these goals as benchmarks to gauge her progress. These goals include conditioning, strength, mental skills and physical skills training. She is laser focused on her mission to be the best and nothing stands in her way.
5. Thinking - it always begins with her thoughts about herself and her self-image of what she believes is possible. If her thinking is distorted and limited so too will be her results. If she truly possesses "no limit" thinking she will "see" her greatness far in advance and expect that success as firmly as she believes Sunday follows Saturday. To her unlimited success is a mathematical certainty.
Ultimately if your athlete can summon the "no limit" belief system there truly is no limit to what she can achieve on the field. Will it be easy...absolutely not. But when she is tired or fatigued, or has just struck out or made an error that little voice inside her head will dictate what comes next. Either she will see it as a challenge and work harder, or her limiting beliefs will win out and she will be content to play at the level she is at.
As always...it is her choice for how much success she achieves.
The game is 90% mental. How much do you and your athlete invest in her mental game? Give her the gift this holiday season that will massively change her game in 2012 with The Game Changer Program: A Mental Skills Blueprint to Be the Best She Can Be.
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